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Panasonic PT-AE100 User Reviews

Panasonic PT-AE100 Projector

Panasonic Home PT-AE100

WVGA (858x484), 700 ANSI Lumens,
6.0 lbs, $2,499 (MSRP)
View Specs
4.4 out of 5
46 User Ratings
Image Quality 4.5
Features 4.4
Construction 4.2
Ease of Use 4.8
Reliability 4.1
Value for Money 4.6

User Reviews

Write a Review
Review by CR

After more than 2700 hours on mine I thought it would deserve a review. This was my first PJ (now replaced by a Hitachi HD-PJ52) and all I have to say is it was a GREAT projector for its time. DVDs look superb on it (but of course do not expect CRT/DLP blacks!). Blacks can be improved a lot if using an FL-D filter over the lens and a gray screen. After so many hours I can notice the lamp is not as bright as before but I am sure if I replace it picture will improve a lot, back to the way it was when I got it. HD looks great on it as well. Same thing for XBox in high definition. Even regular cable is decent. For sure this was the best bang for the buck ever on PJs with native 16:9 (important if you watch mostly widescreen DVDs and HD) resolutions. Very quiet as others posted and extremely small.

Any Problems: Just had to replace the blue polarizer after 1300 hours. Did it myself and paid only $85 for the polarizer, ordered directly from PASC.

Review by Calimero

After One year using it I am so happy with this unit, it's so important to plug it to a computer in order to send the appropriate wVGA signal to the unit using powerstrip utility, if you do this the image it's absolutely amazing ! I also use Zoom player in order to get a true anamorphic image in movies with 2:35 aspect so that you can use the whole screen and not only a part of it. Zoom player is freeware and can use the audio and video decoder of any commercial software you already own. Contrast is fine, color superb, and if you have control of ambient light its 700 lumens are perfect for watching movies on a dark room. it's also a very quiet unit. But I insist you only get the best of it thru VGA signal.

Any Problems: After one year no problems at all, image is still perfect, no dead pixels. in fact this units seems to be very well constructed. Always using low power mode.

Review by Saad Khan

I bought the projector in July 2002, and the first 150 hours were amazing and then one fine weekend it would turn off automatically and flash the RED bulb sign. I took it to the dealer and the bulb had to be replaced at 150hours. So I have the new bulb right...another 100 hours later the second bulb started the same problem and now when I took it back to the dealership they said the bulb has to be replaced and as its out of its 1 year warranty, I have to pay from my own pocket...SO NO. PLEASE DO NOT PURCHASE THIS MACHINE.

Review by eKIK

I've been the happy owner of this projector for about a month now. For the price, the image quality is nothing but excellent! The black-levels are not top-notch (LCD), but otherwise the colour levels are excellent. My advice to all you happy AE100 owners: Don't use the S-video connector, use RGB via D-SUB (VGA) or component. The projector does a great job especially when connected to a HTPC. All AE100 owners should check out (

Review by Chew

Although rated at 700 Ansi.It is remarkably bright if you switch off the ceiling light.Excellent picture quality,screen door effect is not noticeable beyond 10 ft.

Any Problems: My unit had been sent for servicing twice within a period of 3 months.Cause of failure:burnt motherboard.I suspected that it was due to the fact that I switched to the low power mode in order to prolong lamp life.As a result heat is generated faster than the rate the fan was able to extract out.Now I switch the power to high mode and since then I haven't encountered the same problem for the last 3 months.Therefore my advice is never switch to low power mode just because you want to prolong lamp life to 5000 hrs.You will never achieve that especially if you are living in tropical country like me.

Review by Tim

this is certainly a great product/price projector picture excellent quality, low noise, ease of use... when it works !! I am at my 3rd one as well (someone else had the same problem), they just stopped working and then to get it just handled by Panasonic !! I think it's easier to go kick Saddam's butt ! Panasonic support SUCKS, I even had one yahoo telling me that 'that PT-AE100U, it's no Panasonic product sir' !! not kidding !!! now it's too late but I do regret I bought it and I would not recomment it to anyone.

Any Problems: 1st, dead pixel right down the middle 57 hours 2d, picture flickering then dead, less than 50 hours 3rd, same things, after 180 hours still waiting (2 weeks +) for it or another one to be returned by Panasonic Illinois ! conclusion, good stuff, but stay away from it

Review by fallwood

Ive had my projector for about 6 months now, the picture is superb and i can only fault it in one area, reliability, im on my fourth projector so far (in 6 months), i use my projector as my main tv in my lounge, i probably rack up about 100-150 hrs per week on it ,the current pj has managed tolast for 1780 hrs and like the 3 before it has now suffered severe internal electrical burnout

Any Problems: very poor reliability slow unacceptable service by panasonic service centre beware, if you want a long lasting unit i really cant reccomend this one

Review by Gus

If you want to get the best from it plug it to a computer , you'll have a very beautiful and well contrasted image, even better than from SVHS signal. This proyector simply rocks ! Low fan noise is also important to me and this little baby meet all my requierements. The Screen door effect is still there but if you seat not so near the screen yo won't notice it at all. Great value for the money !

Any Problems: after 200hours not a single problem. It's indeed very well constructed.

Review by drumr

So far I am really enjoying this projector..I bought it off ebay for $1000 and it is working perfectly, I just could not pass that deal up. I kept reading about the "screen door effect," but really did'nt understand what it was, but now I do. It really doesn't bother me that much and everyone elses advice on here works, just soften the focus a little and it dissapears. I am the first one to have a projector system around here and when I invite people over they are absolutely amazed. I am using a dalite 60x80 glass beaded screen to project on by the way. When I tell people I have around $1200 in the whole system their jaw hits the floor because they just spent $2000 on a 55" hdtv that sticks out 2 feet from the wall. Overall I am very pleased with it the picture is very good especially at night...the darker the room the better...the projector is very quiet...I am running in low power mode to get 5000 hrs out of the bulb...not much difference in low and high modes..

Any Problems: The room has to be fairly dark to see well...this would be an excellent choice for a basement with no windows..Mine is in the living room so I have to keep curtains drawn in the day light to see well...Overall I would recommend this projector to anyone.

Review by Migueli

Es la mejor compra que he hecho en mi vida, ahora veo las peliculas como se deben ver, su calidad de imagen es magnifica, y el efecto trapecio es casi inexistente, y todo por 1600E, no creo que haya otro con mejor relación calidad precio en el mercado, y la lámpara puede llegar a durar 5000h en modo Eco.

Any Problems: Ninguno

Review by Steve

I bought my PT-AE100 in July 2002. At the beginning, the pictures from this unit were stunning. On my relatively small 60" screen. However, after about 70 hours use it began to exhibit unacceptable red /green colour casts most noticeable on black & white movies. The unit was returned to Panasonic, who after 5 weeks agreed that it was faulty. To their credit, in late November they supplied me with a new unit. Out of the box this replacement unit had a large lump of dirt in the optics, the symptom being a large defocused green blob smack in the centre of the image. After about 10 hours use the replacement unit also began to show signs of the aforementioned red / green purity errors. The dealer has agreed a full refund and I have replaced the PT-AE100 with a SANYO PLV-Z1 In all honesty, I would not be able to recommend the PT-AE100

Review by Luis

I have just bought the AE100, and was astonished by the quality of the image from both DVD and HDTV. I used to have a 130cm RPT and this beats it hands down. I could not believe the price, it was too good to pass up. I have never seen Lord of the Rings in so much detail. I have seen this movie at least 5 times, and now it was like watching a completely different film. And watching sport was unsurpassed. I still can't believe the price!! I had shopped around and researched and this is as good as many projectors 3 times the price.

Review by KingPassat

This was my first LCD purchase. Currently using a 110" DIY screen. The results are absolutely incredible for the price. From a dist of 15ft there is NO screen door. A little defocussing helps big time. The low power lamp life of 5000 hrs is amazing, considering a new lamp costs near $350. Using a component video cable alongwith a prog scan dvd player enhances overall picture quality. For first timers, this is a great product for the money . Its easy to setup and even easier to use. Highly recommended.

Any Problems: The unit comes with a Japanese manual and Japanese instructions, the first problem was solved by common sense. The second was solved by changing the menu to English via remote.

Review by Brinker

Serious design flaw compromises what is otherwise an amazing breakthrough product. Projects uneven color field (areas with green or red tinge) that is quite distracting with black and white movies. After several months of trying to get a fix from Panasonic they finally admitted that every one of this model (and according to them, all lcd projectors) suffers from this problem (something about polarization of the lcd panel). Doesn't anyone else ever watch b&w movies!

Any Problems: Also, one dead pixel. If you're auditioning any lcd projector, check it out with b&w material!

Review by Tze Loong Chan

Has been excellent until I tried to run HD DTV through it. HD doesn't work.

Any Problems: It's been advertised to be capable of displaying DH TV at 1080i 50Hz signal. Mine doesn't. I get double images on the screen and loss of colour.

Review by Charles Hunstiger

Excellent image quality using component video/dvd. Very good image quality using s-video. My only gripe with the picture is that with fewer pixels, smaller images cannot be defined well. Large images appear excellent. If you are a sports viewer like myself, it may bug you a bit. But, for $1200 it is great. The source of video definitely is the most important with this projector. Regular cable=sucked, digital cable=sucked, Satellite=Good, Component w/DVD=the best I have seen with this projector. Tip - a FL-Day filter helps dramatically with the contrast!

Any Problems: No problems @ 125 hours

Review by Gabriel Bazurto

I have nothing but praise for this little gem of a projector. I'm sold on native 16:9 and will not buy anything less. I love the colors and the detail of the picture. I have not tried it with HDTV yet but hey DVD are dandy as candy.

Any Problems: The screendoor effect is not that apparent and i sit close to the screen. All my friends want one but I tell them to hold thier breath. I had to get mine from Japan.

Review by watcher

I got this PJ 6 months ago and already I've logged in over 700+hours on my ae-100 without a single problem. The colors are amazing and brigthness has never been a problem since I have absolute control of all ambient light. The picture is quite sharp and detailed for an wide-svga resolution. Of course the best feature of all is the price...I paid less than $1500 and that included shipping! I beleive they can now be had for $1279 plus shipping. (A lot cheaper than any RPTV.)

Any Problems: none what-so-ever!

Review by Xander

Picture and color is excellent although screen door could be a problem at less than 1.5x distance from screen. Good value for money if you can get the later models where the reliability problems have been fixed.

Any Problems: Color uniformity (green and red tints) after 200hrs and power supply blown at 375hrs.

Review by Murray Blakeman

Had one of these projectors for 7 months and during that period it was in for repairs three times totalling 2 months. Panasonic have since replaced the unit with a new one free of charge. Hopefully this one will be more reliable. I have 4 months to run it in before my warranty runs out.